Few takers for produce due to abundant cultivation: farmers

The district administration has decided to convene a meeting of tapioca growers, management representatives of sago industries, and traders for fixing the price of tapioca ready for harvest in the district.

The meeting would be convened by next week when a possible tie-up arrangement would be arrived at for marketing the produce.

The decision was taken at the farmers' grievances day meeting here on Friday, when a cross-section of tapioca growers complained that there were no takers for the produce this season, probably due to abundant cultivation of tapioca.

Jayashree Muralidharan, Collector, said the district administration was fully aware of their problem, and the issue would be sorted out next week when the traders, industrialists and tapioca farmers' representatives would meet and reach a price.

Earlier, N. Ganesan, district secretary of Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, said many tapioca growers even started switching over to other crops.

Endorsing his view, Siva. Suriyan, district secretary of Tamizhnadu Vivasayigal Sangam, who had even brought a few roots of tapioca, pleaded for fixing the price at Rs.600 per bag of 75 kg.

He said farmers sold the produce under duress at a throwaway price of Rs.120 per bag.

G. Gnanasekar, Deputy Director of Horticulture, said the meeting would help resolve the issue.

About 5,330 hectares had been brought under the crop this season in irrigated belts of Thuraiyur (3,400 ha); Uppliyapuram (1,200 ha); and Thathaiengarpet (670 ha). The per hectare yield stood anywhere between 40 and 50 tonnes.

Opening of DPCs

The Collector said direct procurement centres had already been opened at 15 villages. She advised the farmers to identify, and inform her within a week, additional places for opening these centres.

She would conduct surprise inspection at a few centres for ensuring smooth procurement. B. Sakthivel, senior regional nanager, Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation, said funds would be available for prompt procurement of paddy without hitch.

Revival of ayacutdars association

When N. Veerasekaran, coordinator of south and north Ayyan vaical ayacutdars association, said a number of ayacutdars associations had become defunct due to non-renewal of registration, S. Thiyagarajan, executive engineer, Agricultural Engineering Department, replied steps would be taken to revive all these associations.

He even advised the office bearers to contact him for clarification.